The idea of the existence of a soul or life-force which exists independently of the body is of considerable antiquity. In folk tradition, the soul was understood to depart the body, not just at the moment of death (where it was said to leave through the crown of the head), but during sleep (where it departed the body via the mouth in the appearance of a small creature or insect). For this 13th edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis (marking one year on the air!) hosts Jonny Dillon and Claire Doohan explore popular conceptions of the soul in folk tradition; from offerings left by our forebears to the souls of their departed ancestors, to those souls who return from the otherworld in need of help (or to exact revenge). From the lovers whose bonds transcend death, to tobacco spirits in need of prayer, join Claire and Jonny as they turn their thoughts to those who have gone before, and to those lost souls who wander among us still, between nightfall and cock-crow.
And a special word of thanks this month to our colleagues Mícheál and Réiltín at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Doirí Beaga, who kindly allowed us to use an audio sample from the bealoideasbeo.ie project, for which we are extremely grateful.
Blúiríní Béaloidis 13 - The Soul In Folk Tradition